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Greg Louganis Charlie Sheen's HIV Announcement Will Save Lives

11/17/2015 1:29 PM PST

Greg Louganis: Charlie Sheen's Announcement Will Save Lives

EXCLUSIVE

Charlie Sheen will save lives by revealing he's HIV positive ... so says Olympic diver Greg Louganis.

Greg tells TMZ the fact Charlie doesn't fit the HIV "stereotype" will open discussions about the virus and spread awareness that goes beyond the gay community.

The Olympian believes Charlie's announcement will have a "Caitlyn Jenner effect" by shining light on a topic a lot of people are afraid to discuss. 

As for waiting so long to go public ... Greg says everyone's different and Charlie probably just needed time to come to terms with everything ... it's a long process.

Greg was diagnosed with HIV just before the '88 Olympics but didn't go public until 1995. 

Louganis says Charlie will bring attention to HIV prevention, treatment and false assumptions people have about the virus. He says Sheen will probably encourage others living with HIV to come forward and talk about their diagnosis.  

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